One more birthday down #Kids #StarWars


Saturday was all about my mini-me Danny. We threw a birthday party to end all birthday parties for him. Sunday I went up to Denver, and Kim got to just relax while the kids played with their friends. Danny had a great time, was happy with the weekend, but today he was very tired. I personally handled it all very well, enjoying myself, took pictures and made sure that I was able to be there whenever Kim needed assistance.


As I mentioned in my FB post we came up with a Star Wars theme for the party. We had already planned some of the stuff for the party. And then on Saturday morning, we went on Pinterest and Kim found a whole bunch of other super cool creative things to do. This was an example of some of the snacks we made. It was very cool.


Another idea she found was to get the foam pool noodles you might find anywhere, and then cut them in half and craft lightsabers using duct tape and electrical tape. They were very cool, and definitely a hit with the kids (pun intended.) With long-running battle going on pretty much the entire day. Since they did not hurt to get hit with, young and old were all able to get into the swing of things.


Kim crafted another of her great cakes. This time Darth Vader. Highlighted by some star fighters. Creating black icing is definitely not the easiest thing in the world to do.


And we had a Darth Vader pinata, because who doesn’t enjoy whacking Darth Vader with a light saber? That was great fun, as everyone was able to get in some good whacks. And then all the kids got more than their share of candy afterwards.

Yeah, it was a great party, if a little exhausting. The only real downside for me was that it brought up memories of the last Star Wars party we had and Justin. But that was more just a sad memory, and thinking about how much he would have enjoyed what we were doing now, so I just treated it all as a tribute to him of sorts.

The little ones went over to their friends house on Saturday night for a sleepover so Kim and I got some quiet time on Sunday morning before I left. My game went very well. And Kim got a mostly quiet day at home. The kids ran around and played, enjoying the nice outdoor weather, apparently playing with water balloons. It wasn’t exactly what she thought they might do. But it was a good recovery day for her.




Happy Birthday son

James Second Halloween

Today this little Devil is 14 years old!

Jimmy you mean so much to me, it is hard to express. My first born, my little man, my mini me 1.0.

You are a great son, you never cease to amaze, from you strength, your maturity beyond your years, your leadership and charisma. You are a never ending source of pride and joy.

In the interests of full disclosure you can also be a pain in the neck, too big for your britches, argumentative, confusing, and annoying.

But you wouldn’t be you without both sides of your personality. That is what makes you human, and keeps you and us honest. And I wouldn’t have it any other way, just keep being you, and don’t let anyone tell you to be anyone else.

From a top wrestler, to a video game nerd, to an active athlete, to the bookish D&D nerd, you are all these things, and I celebrate them all.

It has been an excellent 14 years that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I love you buddy and I hope you have a wonderful birthday!

Some things just take longer to go away, plus weekend plans

A little tired today, not due to staying up a lot later, but more due to having a hard time actually going to sleep. Got sucked into watching the entire Broncos game last night, and as a result made it hard to really come down and sleep. Jimmy has a lot of work ahead of him. But there is a reward for both of us. Wishing 2 special people a Happy Birthday. And Danny will have an especially busy weekend.

Yeah, I know, I really only want to watch the end of games. And not let football take over my life. But things conspired last night. It was a weekday night so couldn’t exactly do other stuff. Netflix was down for some reason. And while I played a computer game for part of the time to keep my attention, the game remained on for the entire night. What was funny is I went through stages. When the Chiefs took the lead I thought about going and taking out my contacts and taking a sleeping pill so I could crash once it was all over. Then when the Broncos tied it up I went and got my glasses on, locked up the house, and actually missed the big final play, had to rewind it to see it happen. And of course a win like that sucked in my inner fan, got me all hyped up to the point that it then became that much harder to shut my mind off.Eventually the sleeping pill kicked in and I read 3 chapters of a book, but it still took a while to finally pass out. Goes to show that you cannot eliminate a lifetimes habits overnight.

The kids have a four day weekend from school (unusual scheduling.) But Jimmy will have to spend a fair amount of the time catching up on school work. We e-mailed his teachers and got as much as we could from them so he has plenty of things he can do to catch up. So he will be busy doing that the first 2 days of the weekend. And Danny has a full schedule as well. He has a popcorn sale booth Saturday and Sunday. Plus therapy on Saturday. He will not get a lot of down time either. Only Emily will get 4 days of truly off time.

I want to take a couple lines to celebrate 2 of the most selfless women I know who are celebrating birthdays this weekend. First, Saturday is my Stepmother Marcella’s birthday. She is an amazing woman, just now slowing down in her late 70’s. After a life time of educating, volunteering, missionary activity, helping countless people. I often talk about how our house growing up always seemed to have someone extra staying there, because Marcella was always willing to reach out and offer that helping hand. Second, Sunday is Mother In Law’s birthday. Another amazing woman, an absolutely tireless worker, and also selfless in her own way. Effectively raising her own kids alone, and then taking on and helping to raise her grandchildren. And working 7 days a week at several thankless jobs through it all just to get by. So I raise my cup of water as a toast to both of these amazing women and wish them a hearty Happy Birthday!

It won’t be all hard work and extra-curricular activities this weekend for me and Jimmy though. Sunday is our monthly Denver game. We are both very happy and looking forward to this. It is a good break for me, and assuming he does all his work and is recovered, a good reward for Jimmy.

It will be a good, full weekend, which is just a precursor for the upcoming super busy month of Birthdays. But it won’t all be work and projects. There will be a number of fun things as well to look forward to for all of us.

Today this kid become this guy

Hard to believe it has been thirteen years, time does seem to compress sometime. It is difficult to believe sometimes that this guy, my wrestler extraordinaire, muscle man, Magic and D & D player:

Jimmy invites you to the Gun Show

Jimmy invites you to the Gun Show

Was once this little guy, soccer kid, lover of trains and Star Wars:

Lil' Goalie

Lil’ Goalie

Here’s wishing my guy, little man that he is, the best of birthdays. You have become your own great guy. Well rounded, fearless, confident, smart, athletic, Responsible (sort of). A man couldn’t wish for a better son. Nor could I hope for a better big brother to sweet little Daniel and Emily.

Happy Birthday Jimmy!

Another year, changes continue to happen

For some birthdays are dreaded events, another sign they are getting older. For others birthdays have no real meaning, it’s just another day. For me, I love birthdays, they are the best!

So Happy Happy birthday to me!

Thanks to all who have already wished me Happy Birthday, either electronically, or in person or via snail mail.

I guess it comes from being the quiet, introverted youngest kid in a large family but I have always enjoyed birthdays. Growing up it was the the one time that everyone had to pay attention to Me! Not that I always wanted attention, but it was hard to come by in a big family with the accompanying chaos of a large family. So being guaranteed that one day to celebrate was a big deal. And that has carried over. Sure there were some quiet years, but I still did something for me those years, and reveled in what attention I did get.

This has been a different year. My physical fitness has declined. I was forced to make some changes and seek help for some emotional issues. But in retrospect it was a good year, some fun trips, big changes and advances for the kids. And no major disasters, either family or natural.

One day of activity & chaos, one day of rest & recovery

Saturday was crazy, lots of activities and eventually a mad house of hyper kids. But we made up for it with a SUnday of real rest and recovery for the family.

Pinewood Derby

We started Saturday with a Scout event. It was the annual Pinewood Derby. Which is a mixed bag for us as a family. Because Danny is not a car guy. So getting him even remotely interested in decorating his is not the easiest thing in the world. And in turn that means he is not real excited about the race either, because he is also not remotely competitive (which is good because his cars have not been competitive anyway.)

But he had far more fun this year just hanging out with his buddies. And that is really one of the big reasons we got him into Scouts. I mean we could have taught him a lot of what he has learned. But he has used the Scouts as his way of opening up and meeting other kids the way Jimmy did with sports. And in the end he did win best paint job for his car, which was good for him.


From Pinewood I went home with 2 more kids than I brought as his buddies began to come over for his birthday sleepover. We eventually ended up with 7 boys aged 8 to 10, and 5 girls aged 6 to 10 for the party. With the girls (minus Emily) leaving for the sleepover and Jimmy coming home for the night.

Danny had a great time, he had a huge grin on his face most of the time. And that was the most important point. There were some conflicts. 2 of the boys butted heads (not literally) much of the time (1 being Danny’s cousin and his closest friend to some extent.) And this will probably be the last boy-girl party Danny has as there was a lot of ‘let’s get the girls’ and ‘we don’t want the boys out here’ friction. But there were no major incidents, no one had to be sent home or receive disciplinary action.

But everyone got at least a minimal amount of sleep and we all survived. And again, most importantly, Danny had a great time. So we can consider this a success.

Recovery day

Kim is pretty much recovered from her cold of last weekend, but she slept in the living room as a quasi-supervisor for the kids coming upstairs during the sleepover so she did not get a lot of sleep Saturday night. Jimmy slept with the boys as a sort of supervisor, so he also did not get much sleep. I am in the midst of a cold. So, when the weather turned on Sunday and the idea of making a trip to the zoo was aborted we chose to just relax.

We really just vegged out on the couch, sleeping, watching a series of TV movies. And ‘celebrated’ the end of the birthday weekend and hopefully last bad weather weekend for a while. Normally I might have felt bad about that, but not this week. We all needed that recovery time and rest.

And it looks like the weather will be more spring like next weekend, and we can hopefully enjoy that with some good outdoor time.

Happy Birthday to my little guy!

Wishing my little Danny the best of Birthdays today.


My sweet animal lover, who adores his little animals, be they real or stuffed. Never lose that sweetness and caring.


My brave skater guy, who is starting to try new things and get physically braver all the time. Enjoy and embrace all those new challenges this year!


Loves his colors and bright fun things.


My little Scout, who jumps in and enjoys his friends and challenges there.